Seussical
"Oh, the thinks you can think" when Dr. Seuss' best-loved characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper!
Show Essentials
6
Roles
+ Ensemble
G
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

A strange and fantastic red-and-white-striped top hat appears on an empty stage, full of possibilities. A Boy enters and is drawn toward the magical hat. The Cat in the Hat suddenly materializes. "I can see that you've got quite a mind for your age," quips the Cat as he/she begins singing about the power of imagination ("Oh, the Thinks You Can Think"). Throughout the song, famous characters are introduced who will figure in the musical: Horton the Elephant; Gertrude McFuzz, the bird with the one-feather tail; the Whos of Whoville, including the Mayor and his Wife; General Genghis Khan Schmitz; Mayzie La Bird; the Sour Kangaroo and the Citizens of the Jungle of Nool. As the energizing opening number comes to a close, the Boy and the Cat use their imaginations to transport everyone to the Jungle of Nool, and the adventures begin.

Horton is splashing in a pool when he hears a distant cry for help. ("Horton Hears a Who"). He follows the sound to a tiny speck of dust floating through the air and realizes that there are people living here, people so small that they can't be seen: the tiny citizens of Whoville. Horton vows to help them and places Whoville safely onto a soft clover just as Sour Kangaroo and her baby arrive. The Sour Kangaroo thinks Horton is crazy for talking to a speck of dust, and she and the rest of the Jungle Citizens mock him for his delusions. ("Biggest Blame Fool"). The rascally Wickersham Brothers, a cool group of bad-boy monkeys, join in the fun of teasing Horton. The Cat in the Hat weaves through the number, taking on the persona of a talk show host who interviews everyone in the jungle, including Mayzie La Bird and her backup group of Bird Girls. The one person who stands up for Horton is his neighbor, Gertrude McFuzz, who is not noticed by anyone, most of all Horton.

Horton is left alone and discovers much more about the Whos and their tiny town of Whoville ("Here on Who"). He assures them of his belief that "a person's a person no matter how small." The Cat in the Hat, who is continuously present, throws the Boy into the story, and he becomes JoJo, son to Mr. and Mrs. Mayor of Whoville. They are both very unhappy with Jojo because his "Thinks" have gotten him into trouble at school.

Jojo is scolded and told to "take your bath and go to bed," but the Cat in the Hat has another idea... and Jojo's imagination gets the better of him again. ("Oh, the Thinks You Can Think – Reprise") Magically, his bathtub becomes McEligott's Pool, full of fantastical fish ("It's Possible")! The fun is interrupted when Mr. and Mrs. Mayor rush in – Jojo has flooded the house with bathwater. With Jojo finally in bed, his parents lament the change in him since his "Thinks" began ("How to Raise a Child"). The Cat in the Hat gives them an idea to help solve Jojo's problem.

The next morning, Mr. and Mrs. Mayor introduce their son to General Genghis Khan Schmitz ("The Military"). They feel the rigors of military school will straighten out their unusual son.

After a long and very tough first day at military school, Jojo sits alone in his bunk. Simultaneously, Horton sits alone guarding the clover ("Alone in the Universe"). Horton and Jojo hear each other and become friends when they realize that their imaginations are so much alike – "one true friend in the universe who believes in me."

In another part of the jungle, Gertrude has just written her 437th love song about Horton ("The One Feather Tail of Miss Gertrude McFuzz"). She believes that Horton doesn't notice her because of her pathetically small and uninteresting tail. Mayzie appears with her Bird Girls and offers advice ("Amayzing Mayzie"). This leads Gertrude to Doctor Dake (played by the Cat in the Hat) and his pills for "amayzing" feathers. After taking too many pills, Gertrude is very happy as her tail begins to grow ("Amayzing Gertrude"), but the Cat in the Hat warns that trouble is brewing.

The Wickersham Brothers are up to no good ("Monkey Around") and they decide to steal the clover with Whoville on it. They ambush Horton, grab the clover... and "Chasing the Whos" begins as the monkeys tease Horton and he huffs and puffs after them, all over the Jungle of Nool. The Cat in the Hat plays a helicopter newscaster, tracking the chase.

The Wickershams hand off the clover to "a black-bottomed eagle named Vlad Vladikoff," who flies off with the clover and drops it. As the clover plummets toward the ground, the Cat in the Hat freezes the action for a blithe, ironic song ("How Lucky You Are"). The Cat unfreezes the action, and the Whos drop directly into an enormous field of clover.

Horton begins looking for the Whos, clover by clover by clover. Gertrude has followed the chase and arrives with her now incredibly long and unwieldy tail, determined to tell Horton how she truly feels ("Notice Me, Horton"). But Horton doesn't notice her at all and just continues looking for the Whos. Gertrude leaves, rejected and sad.

Mayzie La Bird calls to him from her nest in a tree. She's bored to death ("How Lucky You Are – Reprise") and she convinces Horton to sit on the nest for her while she takes a brief vacation ("Horton Sits on the Egg").

Seasons pass, and Horton is still stuck, sitting on the egg, the Whos are still lost in the clover, and Gertrude still cannot get Horton to notice her or her very long tail. Hunters suddenly arrive and capture Horton and the egg. Gertrude is unable to help because her tail is so large that she can no longer fly. Chaos begins but, once again, the Cat freezes the tableau and Horton, Gertrude, the Cat and all the Whos send the audience out to intermission ("How Lucky You Are – Second Reprise"). Just before doom strikes, the curtain comes down.

Act Two

As the orchestra tunes up, we realize that the conductor is the Cat in the Hat. The music becomes increasingly wild and out of control – pages fly, the baton goes crazy, the Cat does his/her tricks and finally regains control so that Act Two can start. ("Seussical Entr'Acte").

The Boy questions the Cat about the future of Horton, the egg and JoJo, but the Cat just sends the Boy back into the story as Jojo, and we segue to three little scenes, reprising Act One: Horton is still surrounded by hunters as he sits on Mayzie's egg; although the tiny town of Whoville was damaged in the "fall," the military school continues to march. Jojo marches, wondering what the point of marching is when their world is in ruins. Back in the jungle, Gertrude is extremely worried about Horton, but can hardly walk without help because her tail is so long and heavy.

Now the action begins, as Horton, still on the tree nest, is carried away by the hunters ("Egg, Nest and Tree"). After a long, arduous journey, Horton arrives in New York, where he is auctioned off to the circus. The "Seusseby's auctioneer" is played by the Cat, who allows the audience to bid on Horton.

The Cat then plays Mr. McGurkus and introduces us to his fantastical circus, with Horton as his main attraction ("The Circus McGurkus"). As the circus travels across the country, Horton worries about Jojo and Whoville, wondering when Mayzie will return to her egg; ("The Circus on Tour / How Lucky You Are – Reprise").

The circus lands in Palm Beach, where we find Mayzie under a palm tree, bemoaning the monotony of vacationing ("Mayzie in Palm Beach"). She decides that she needs a change of scenery and heads to the circus, where she runs into Horton.

He begs her to take back her egg, but Mayzie decides that Horton would be a better parent for her egg than she could ever be ("Amayzing Horton"), so she gives him the egg for good and leaves before he can say no. Horton accepts the responsibility of caring for the egg ("Alone in the Universe – Reprise"), even though he worries about JoJo and the Whos. He sings the egg a lullaby ("Solla Sollew") that is echoed by JoJo and Mr. and Mrs. Mayor.

The next morning, General Schmitz and his military cadets head off to war to fight the "Butter Side Downers," who eat their bread the wrong way ("Green Eggs and Ham II"). JoJo confronts the General about the ridiculousness of the war and quits, marching off in the direction of a minefield. We hear an extremely loud explosion, and Jojo is gone.

Back in Whoville, the Christmas pageant is under way, led by the Grinch ("The Whos' Christmas Pageant"). General Schmitz suddenly enters with his cadets and approaches Mr. and Mrs. Mayor with horrible news ("A Message from the Front / Solla Sollew – Reprise"). JoJo has been lost in the war, a war which has become questionable in everyone's eyes.

The Cat helps us discover that Jojo has survived, but is confused and lost ("Alone in the Universe"). Frightened, Jojo blames the Cat for all his troubles. The Cat helps him find his way home to the arms of his parents by listening to his own hunches. ("Havin' a Hunch").

Far away, at the circus, Gertrude finally finds Horton, asleep in his cage. She has gotten rid of her unwieldy tail and has journeyed great distances and through much peril ("All for You") to find and rescue him. At the end of her number, she mentions one more thing: she also has found the Whos' clover! Horton finally notices that Gertrude is amazing.

But just as Horton finds the Whos again, the Sour Kangaroo and the Wickersham Brothers arrive and make a citizen's arrest . They take Horton back to the Jungle of Nool, where he is put on trial, "for talking to a speck and sitting on an egg." The trial begins ("The People versus Horton the Elephant"). Judge Yertle the Turtle sentences Horton to the Nool Asylum for the Criminally Insane, sentencing the speck of dust to be boiled in oil. Horton trumpets his protest and tells the Whos that they must yell to be heard; they have to prove they exist... and there's no time to lose!

The Whos scream and make as much noise as they can, but, still, only Horton can hear them. Suddenly, Jojo comes up with a Think: a new word to shout that will be heard by everyone: YOPP! At the last minute, all of the animals of Nool hear Jojo's cry, and Whoville is saved. Just then, the egg begins to crack – all gather around as the new baby emerges – and they are astonished to see that it's... an Elephant Bird! Horton looks to Gertrude for help, realizing that she is his "one true friend in the universe," and she agrees: "You teach him earth and I will teach him sky." A new and very unusual family is formed.

As the show ends and all are united, the Cat hints that many more adventures are likely to occur "if you open your mind, oh, the thinks you will find" ("Oh, the Thinks You Can Think – Reprise"). All the characters vanish, leaving The Boy alone onstage with the red-and-white-striped hat, which embodies his limitless imagination. As he puts it on, it falls over his eyes, putting the stage into BLACKOUT!

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

The Cat In The Hat
Our story's omniscient narrator, he is fun loving and enjoys rhyming. Pops up throughout the story to help the audience. Wise and attentive.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: F2
Jojo
The Mayor's son, he is a Who that is always finding trouble. Bright, creative, and inadvertently mischievous. Possesses a wildly expansive imagination and finds solace in his friendship with Horton.
Gender: male
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: Ab3
Horton The Elephant
Our story's main character, he is a compassionate and gentle elephant. Commonly misunderstood because of his larger size. He is protective and loving of all creatures in the jungle.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Gertrude Mcfuzz
Horton's one-feathered-tail bird neighbor. Gertrude is sweet and timid. Though kind and loyal, she is also self-conscious of her shortfalls.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Mayzie Labird
The most beautiful bird in all of the jungle. Oblivious to her self-centered ways, she relies on her talent of manipulation, and intoxicating beauty, to navigate her way through life.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: G3
The Sour Kangaroo
The 'leader' of the jungle. She is loud, brassy, and stubbornly set in her ways. A caring mother, but unabashedly sassy and soulful.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 40
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F#3
Ensemble
Jungle Creatures (The Wickersham Brothers, Yurtle The Turtle, Bird Girls); The Whos (Mr. Mayor, Mrs. Mayor, General Gengus Khan Schmitz)
Full Song List
Seussical: Overture
Seussical: Oh, The Thinks You Can Think
Seussical: Horton Hears A Who*
Seussical: Biggest Blame Fool
Seussical: Here On Who
Seussical: It's Possible (McElligot's Pool)
Seussical: How To Raise A Child
Seussical: The Military
Seussical: Alone In The Universe
Seussical: The One Feather Tail Of Miss Gertrude McFuzz
Seussical: Amayzing Mayzie
Seussical: Amayzing Gertrude
Seussical: Monkey Around
Seussical: Chasing The Whos
Seussical: How Lucky You Are
Seussical: Notice Me, Horton
Seussical: How Lucky You Are (Mayzie's Reprise)
Seussical: Horton Sits On The Egg*/Act 1 Finale
Seussical: Egg, Nest, And Tree
Seussical: Mayzie In Palm Beach
Seussical: Solla Sollew
Seussical: Havin' A Hunch
Seussical: All For You
Seussical: The People Versus Horton The Elephant
Seussical: Finale/Oh, The Thinks You Can Think
Seussical: Green Eggs And Ham

Show History

Inspiration


Seussical is an amalgamation of stories by Theodore Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss). His 46 children's book are staples in the world of American children's literature, and the cultural impact of these stories has been profound since he began writing in the 1930s. Prior to Seussical, Dr. Seuss' work had been adapted for both television and film, in some cases by Geisel himself. Seussical is primarily based on the Dr. Seuss stories, Horton Hears a Who, Horton Hatches an Egg, and The One-Feathered Tail of Gertrude McFuzz, although it incorporates many references to other Dr. Seuss stories.

Productions


After shaky beginnings, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens' Seussical began its journey with a two-week reading of the show in New York. This reading was followed by a month-long workshop in Toronto in the summer of 1999. At that initial workshop, there were no costumes or scenery, and only minimal props. Yet, the effect was magical. As Ahrens wrote, "The strength of the workshop was its simplicity, its rough-around-the-edges charm, its intimacy." The invited audiences loved the presentation, and Seussical was immediately dubbed Broadway's "next big hit."

But, some complications happened on the way to New York and, by the time the show opened on Broadway in 2000, it had been turned into a big, splashy production that was quite different from what had worked so well in the initial workshop. The show played at the Richard Rodgers Theater for six months, where audiences loved it. Ultimately, however, Seussical did not realize its potential, primarily because it was not the show the authors had envisioned. When the show closed on May 20th, 2001, it was an emotional night for the actors and writers, all of whom had believed so strongly in the essential material.

When producer, Ken Gentry, decided to produce a national tour, the authors welcomed the opportunity to revisit their work. They made small changes in the book and score, allowing Jojo to become more of a force in the storytelling. Most importantly, they sought to pare down the physical aspects of the production, advocating a "less is more" approach. The reviews for that tour were overwhelmingly positive. A second national tour was launched in 2003, bringing the joys of Seussical to an even wider audience.

When the amateur rights to the show were released in 2004, hundreds of schools and community theatres jumped at the chance to produce it.

Cultural Influence

  • A big, splashy Broadway production was not the right context for Seussical The Musical. When the authors retooled the show for the national tour to make a more pared-down, easier-to-produce version, it was a success. Inspired by this tailoring of the show, two additional versions of Seussical: Seussical JR. and Seussical TYA, specifically for young audiences and performers, were created from the original.
  • Seussical ranks among the top three most licensed properties in MTI's catalog, with three versions now available.
  • Despite its short Broadway run, Seussical earned a lot of attention as the first Broadway show following Flaherty and Ahrens success with Ragtime. It was featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the cast featured celebrity replacements, such as Rosie O'Donnell and teen singing sensation, Aaron Carter.

Trivia

  • Ahrens and Flaherty were invited to write Seussical immediately after their show, Ragtime, had a triumphant opening on Broadway. The producer of that show, Garth Drabinsky, had secured the musical rights to Dr. Seuss' most famous stories but, before the authors had even finished their first draft, Livent, Drabinsky's production company, was unexpectedly plunged into bankruptcy reorganization.

Critical Reaction

"The Cat in the Hat rules."
– The Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal

"Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have provided a number of catchy songs... which are performed by a very good cast."
– Talking Broadway

"Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have crafted wonderful songs for the show."
– Theatremania

Tony® Award

2001 - Actor (Musical), Nominee (Kevin Chamberlin )

Drama Desk Award

2001 - Outstanding Music, Nominee (Stephen Flaherty)
2001 - Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Nominee (Janine LaManna)
2001 - Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Nominee (Kevin Chamberlin)

Grammy Award

2001 - Best Musical Show Album, Nominee (Seussical)

Connect

Billing

Based on the works of Dr. Seuss

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Licence Agreement, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on house-boards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind. You agree to supply to the Licensor full details of all such material for Licensor’s approval prior to printing and distribution and supply two (2) copies of the program after printing.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.

SEUSSICAL

 

Music by

STEPHEN FLAHERTY

Lyrics by

LYNN AHRENS

Book by

LYNN AHRENS and STEPHEN FLAHERTY

 

Co-Conceived by LYNN AHRENS, STEPHEN FLAHERTY, and ERIC IDLE

Based on the Works of DR. SEUSS
 
*All uses of the word "Seussical" in print materials and advertising shall be
accompanied by the trademark symbol "TM" after the final "L" in Seussical
*No merchandising rights related to the Play or Dr.Seuss are granted to you
hereunder.
*The granting of this license to you to perform the Play is not to be
construed as the right to utilize Dr. Seuss figures to advertise this Play in
any print materials related to the Play, except as part of any logo supplied
by MTI.
*This license does not permit SEUSSICAL to be presented at any theme park
or amusement park venue, except those owned by Universal Studios Recreation
Group. Such presentation constitutes a breach of this performance license
and results in its immediate and automatic termination

Video Warning

If you purchase a separate license to allow non-commercial video recording of this production, you must print the following in your program. ANY VIDEO RECORDING MADE OF THIS PERFORMANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR PERSONAL, AT-HOME, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. THE SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH RECORDING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED UNDER FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW. If you do not purchase the separate license for video recording, you must print the following in your program. The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK25
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 12
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 22

Production Resources

Resource
KEYBOARD PATCH SOLUTIONS
LOGO PACK
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
ORCHEXTRA
PERFORMANCE ACCOMPANIMENT RECORDING
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
REHEARSCORE APP
SCENE PARTNER
SCENIC PROJECTIONS-ANIMATED
SCENIC PROJECTIONS-STILL
STAGE MANAGER SCRIPT
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIDEO LICENSE
VIRTUAL STAGE MANAGER

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
CELLO
DRUMS
ERRATA LIST
GUITARACOUSTIC GUITAR , ELECTRIC GUITAR
GUITAR 2ACOUSTIC GUITAR , BANJO , ELECTRIC GUITAR
KEYBOARD 1
KEYBOARD 2
PERCUSSION
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , FLUTE , PICCOLO , SOPRANO SAX
REED 2BASS CLARINET , CLARINET , OBOE , TENOR SAXOPHONE
REED 3BARITONE SAXOPHONE , BASSOON , CLARINET , FLUTE
TROMBONE
TRUMPET
TRUMPET 2
VIOLA
VIOLIN
VIOLIN 2

ALTERNATE ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
FEMALE VERS: BASS
FEMALE VERS: CELLO
FEMALE VERS: DRUMS
FEMALE VERS: GUITAR 1 ACOUSTIC GUITAR , ELECTRIC GUITAR
FEMALE VERS: GUITAR 2 ACOUSTIC GUITAR , BANJO , ELECTRIC GUITAR
FEMALE VERS: KEYBOARD 1
FEMALE VERS: KEYBOARD 2
FEMALE VERS: PC ACT 1
FEMALE VERS: PC ACT 2
FEMALE VERS: PERCUSSION
FEMALE VERS: REED 1 ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , FLUTE , PICCOLO , SOPRANO SAX
FEMALE VERS: REED 2 BASS CLARINET , CLARINET , OBOE , TENOR SAXOPHONE
FEMALE VERS: REED 3 BARITONE SAXOPHONE , BASSOON , CLARINET , FLUTE
FEMALE VERS: TROMBONE
FEMALE VERS: TRUMPET 1
FEMALE VERS: TRUMPET 2
FEMALE VERS: VIOLA
FEMALE VERS: VIOLIN 1
FEMALE VERS: VIOLIN 2